Belt Parkway Resurfacing Closures

The NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) will be milling and resurfacing portions of the eastbound Belt Parkway between Flatbush Ave and Rockaway Parkway (Brooklyn), from 11 PM until 5 AM, beginning Monday, 9/15. Full closures will occur Monday nights through Saturday mornings, and last for approximately three weeks. During this project, motorists will be guided through a detour route, which exits at Flatbush Ave, proceeds to Utica/Flatlands Aves, then East 76th St/Paerdegat Ave, Seaview Ave and returns to the Belt Parkway via Rockaway Parkway. Flatlands and Pennsylvania Aves become an alternate route. Signs indicating the detour route will provide additional guidance. Work will not occur on the nights of Wednesday, 9/24, and Thursday, 9/25, in observance of Rosh Hashanah. Work will resume on the night of Friday, 9/26.


Blind Man Robbed in Broad Daylight on Ocean Ave

Police need your help locating a ruthless thug who robbed a blind man in broad daylight.

According to police, the 57 year old victim was walking down Ocean Ave  when the suspect approached him from behind at the corner of Bay Ave. and grabbed his wallet.

The victim’s wallet contained credit cards and approximately $1,000 in cash.

Surveillance cameras from the Flatbush Hatzolah garage down the block captured the suspect after the incident.

The suspect is described as a male Black who was last seen wearing a  black shirt, gray shorts, black sneakers and walking with his mountain bike.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Weekend Bridge and Street Closures – September 13-14

The Brooklyn Bridge will be closed to Manhattan-bound traffic on Saturday from 12:01 am to 7 am and on Sunday from 12:01 am to 9 am. Motorists should consider the Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, or Hugh L. Carey Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel (MTA-tolled facility) as alternate routes.

One of three lanes on the lower roadway of the Manhattan Bridge westbound to Manhattan will be closed from 6 am to 10 pm Saturday and Sunday to facilitate bridge repairs.

The Grand Street Bridge over Newtown Creek will be closed in both directions on Saturday between 7 am and 1 pm for deck grating and sidewalk repairs. Metropolitan Avenue may be used as an alternative route.

The Broadway Bridge over the Harlem River will be fully closed intermittently for up to 15 minutes at a time between 11 pm Saturday and 6 am Sunday for maintenance of the operating machinery. Traffic queues will be allowed to clear between closures. The work is weather-dependent; the rain date is Saturday, September 20.

The Bayonne Bridge will be fully closed from 9 pm Friday through 5 am Monday for a Port Authority long term navigational clearance project.

Both lanes of the Battery Park Underpass will be closed, one direction at a time, on Saturday between 12:01 am and 8 am for necessary inspections.

The Park Avenue northbound viaduct from East 41st Street to East 46th Street will be closed from 12:01 am Saturday to 5 am Monday to facilitate MTA Metro North deck repairs. Motorists can use 3rd Avenue as an alternate route.

Mulberry Street between Canal Street and Broome Street and Hester Street between Mott Street and Baxter Street will be closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5:30 pm to 9 pm for the Little Italy Pedestrian Mall. Mulberry Street between Canal Street and East Houston Street, Grand Street between Mott Street and Centre Street, and Hester Street between Mott Street and Centre Street will be closed between 11:30 am and 11 pm from September 11 through September 21 for the San Gennaro Festival.

The following streets in the Bronx will be closed on Saturday from 10 am to 11 am for the Bronx AIDS Walk:
* Southern Boulevard between Westchester Avenue and East 163rd Street
* East 163rd Street between Southern Boulevard and Bruckner Boulevard
* Hunts Point Avenue between Bruckner Boulevard and Spofford Avenue
* Spofford Avenue between Hunts Point Avenue and Manida Street
* Manida Street between Spofford Avenue and Lafayette Avenue

The following streets will be closed on Saturday:
* 5th Avenue between 80th Street and 59th Street in Manhattan will be closed from 8 am for the NYRR Continental Airlines 5th Avenue Mile.
* Broadway between 47th Street and 57th Street in Manhattan will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the Guardian Angels and St. Patrick’s Fair.
* Broadway between 110th Street and 116th Street in Manhattan will be closed from noon to 5 pm for the 21st Annual Upper Broadway Autumn Festival.
* Crotona Avenue between Crotona Park North and Crotona Park South in the Bronx will be closed from noon to 8 pm for the March for God’s Glory.
* Havemeyer Street between South 4th Street and Grand Street in Brooklyn will be closed from 1 pm to 6 pm for the DOT Weekend Walks Southside Connex.
* Woodside Avenue between Roosevelt Avenue and 65th Place and 61st Street between Roosevelt Avenue and Woodside Avenue in Queens will be closed from noon to 6 pm for the Woodside on the Move Woodside Avenue Festival.

The following streets will be closed on Sunday:
* Madison Avenue between 37th Street and 23rd Street, 36th Street and 37th Street between 5th Avenue and Park Avenue, and 25th Street between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue in Manhattan will be closed from 1 pm to 6 pm for the United American Muslim Day Parade and Festival.
* Lexington Avenue between 79th Street and 96th Street in Manhattan will be closed from noon to 5 pm for the 92nd Street Y Lexington Avenue Festival.
* Amsterdam Avenue between West 106th Street and West 110th Street in Manhattan will be closed from 11 am to 5 pm for the DOT Weekend Walks Bloomingdale Family Days.
* 5th Avenue between 44th Street and 59th Street in Brooklyn will be closed from noon to 6 pm for the Sunset Park BID 5th Avenue Street Festival.
* Southern Boulevard between East Tremont Avenue and Boston Road, Boston Road between Southern Boulevard and Charlotte Street, and Charlotte Street between Crotona Park East and Boston Road in the Bronx will be closed from noon to 2:30 pm for the International Honduran and Central American Parade.
* Myrtle Avenue between Fresh Pond Road and Wyckoff Avenue in Queens will be closed from noon to 6 pm for the Myrtle Avenue BID Myrtle Avenue Festival.
* 172nd Street between Hillside Avenue and 93rd Avenue in Queens will be closed from 1 pm to 3 pm for a fund raising parade.

The times listed for closures for street fairs are for the actual times of the street fairs themselves. The streets may be closed longer to allow for set-up and breakdown. Street fair organizers are generally permitted to begin set-up at 8 am and breakdown must be completed by 7 pm.

Coney Island ‘Goes Gold’ for Childhood Cancer Awareness as Treyger and Zamperla Light Up Iconic Parachute Jump


Council Member Mark Treyger was joined by hundreds of parents, families, advocates, residents and elected officials on Friday evening as the iconic Parachute Jump attraction was lit up gold as part of a worldwide effort to raise awareness for childhood cancer. Following a countdown led by dozens of children, the 250-foot tall structure, known as the “Eiffel Tower of Brooklyn,” went gold at 8 p.m. on Friday and will remain this color all week to bring attention to this vital cause. The lighting was the culmination of an emotional community event that included remarks from several parents and elected officials and a performance by a local children’s dance organization. In addition, Brooklyn Cyclones mascot Peewee and the NYC Parks Department were on hand to entertain the children and Coney Island resident and NBA star Lance Stephenson stopped by to sign autographs. Assistant Pastor Savone James of Coney Island Gospel Assembly performed the invocation and Margaret Williams regaled the crowd with the singing of the national anthem. Local elected officials Congressman Michael Grimm, Assembly Member Alec Brook-Krasny and Council Member Vincent Gentile also took part in the event to show their support.

Council Member Treyger contacted Parachute Jump owner Zamperla last month immediately after hearing that the Empire State Building had rejected the request of Tony Stoddard to light up gold as part of The Gold World Project, which the New Hampshire father launched after his 5-year-old son Cole passed away following a battle with childhood cancer. Zamperla immediately agreed to Council Member Treyger’s request and was instrumental in making Friday’s event a reality.

“I am incredibly proud of our community and borough for stepping up and taking part in this important effort to raise awareness of childhood cancer. We showed these families that they are not alone and that they have the support of their friends and neighbors from across Brooklyn and New York City. As these families go through unimaginable challenges and incredibly difficult times, they will hopefully know that Brooklyn has their back and is with them every step of the way. This is the least we can do on their behalf, so I am very appreciative of the many residents who came out on Friday to show their solidarity and to Zamperla for making this event such a success,” said Council Member Treyger.

VIDEO: Apparent CarJacking Goes Wrong in Brighton Beach

Brooklyn Public Library to Expand Hours of Service Across the Borough

bplBrooklyn Public Library (BPL) announced today that it would implement a significant expansion of hours of service across the borough beginning in October. Two-thirds of BPL’s 60 branches will now offer six- or seven-day service, including Saturday service and extended evening hours at the majority of locations. This expansion is made possible by $2.8M in new funding from the Mayor and City Council, as well as through BPL-implemented efficiencies.

Beginning Saturday, October 4, the number of branches offering six- or seven- day service will increase from 25 to 41. The number of branches offering Saturday service will increase from 39 to 47, and additional evening hours will be added at many locations. Under the new expansion, branches will be open for more than 200 extra hours each week, for an average of 45 hours per week.

To support the added hours, BPL is undergoing the most extensive staff hiring and training since 2008. The Library is hiring new librarians, public safety officers and custodians; investing in clerical staff with new promotional opportunities and professional development; and introducing a new Technology Training team to facilitate instruction, interaction and experimentation with digital tools.

This expansion of hours is made possible by $2.8M in new funding from the Mayor and City Council, as well as through BPL’s efforts to more effectively deploy existing staff. The Library’s efficiency steps include consolidating book purchasing and sorting functions into a central location, the deployment of self-check technology in nearly every branch, online card registration, cashless payments, and automated computer reservations. Together, these improvements have allowed BPL to keep its doors open longer and enabled library staff to better assist patrons.

BPL will continue to work with New York Public Library and Queens Library, the Administration and the City Council in 2015 to secure the additional funding needed to adequately serve the entire borough, including six day service in all locations, expanded seven day service beyond the two current locations, increased evening hours, a more robust collection, and expansion of the Library’s many successful programs including adult literacy classes, services for older adults and first five years programs.

New Service to Offer Female Livery Drivers to Woman

female taxiStarting next week, women in New York City will be able to request a female driver through a new livery service.

It’s called SheTaxis_SheRides. It starts Sept. 16.

The New York Times says the drivers will wear hot pink pashmina scarves.

The service will take requests for rides through an app.

Potential riders will be asked if there is a woman in their party. If not, they’ll be automatically redirected to other car services.

The app will be available only through Apple, but will eventually be made available for Android.

Stella Mateo is behind the livery service. Her husband is Fernando Mateo, the founder of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers. The group represents 30,000 taxi and livery drivers.

She says she plans to expand the service to other cities.

Brooklyn Show Looks at Mystique of “Killer Heels”


It may be Fashion Week in Manhattan, but ‘Killer Heels’ are coming to Brooklyn.

A new exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum looks at the elevated shoe as a design object, from platform shoes dating to about 1600 to a contemporary – and lethal – 8-inch dagger stiletto.

“Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe” opens Wednesday and runs through February 15, after which it will travel around the U.S.
Iterations of the elevated heel – a signifier of sexiness, femininity, glamour and status through the ages – fill display cases: Some with triangle- and ball-shaped heels, others with twisted, trapezoidal and even furry heels. There’s even a gravity-defying skyscraper platform embraced by Lady Gaga.

NYPD Officers Rescue Man Trapped Off Coney Island

drowningNew York Police Department officers have rescued a 19-year-old man who became trapped on rocks in the waters off Coney Island Beach.

Police say officers responded to a 911 call about a man who appeared to be drowning just after 7 p.m. Saturday. They found a man stuck on a rock formation about 200 yards from shore, unable to move off the jetty
because of waves crashing against him.

Three officers in a rescue boat made it through 4-foot-tall waves and were able to throw a life ring to the man and then pull him on board. The man, who has not been identified, was taken to Coney Island Hospital,
where he was treated for hypothermia and bruising to his body.


Weekend Bridge and Street Closures – September 6-7

The Brooklyn Bridge will be closed to Manhattan-bound traffic on Saturday from 12:01 am to 11 am and on Sunday from 12:01 am to 9 am. Motorists should consider the Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, or Hugh L. Carey Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel (MTA-tolled facility) as alternate routes. To allow traffic to clear before the closure begins, the eastbound BQE exit onto the Brooklyn Bridge will close 30 minutes earlier and other Brooklyn ramps onto the bridge will shut down 5-15 minutes earlier.

The Willis Avenue Bridge will be closed to motorists and pedestrians on Saturday from 2 am to 6 am for swing span testing.

Mulberry Street between Canal Street and Broome Street and Hester Street between Mott Street and Baxter Street will be closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5:30 pm to 9 pm for the Little Italy Pedestrian Mall.

The following streets in Manhattan will be closed on Saturday from 10 am to noon for the NYC Central Labor Council Parade:
* 5th Avenue between 43rd Street and 72nd Street
* Madison Avenue between 43rd Street and 45th Street
* 6th Avenue between 43rd Street and 45th Street
* 44th Street and 45th Street between Broadway and Vanderbilt Avenue
* 46th Street and 47th Street between 7th Avenue and Vanderbilt Avenue
* 48th Street between 7th Avenue and Madison Avenue
* Vanderbilt Avenue between 43rd Street and 47th Street
* 66th Street to 72nd Street between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue

3rd Avenue between 14th Street and 23rd Street in Manhattan will be closed on Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm for the Gramercy Park Neighborhood Festival Albano Republican Club Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Fair.

The following streets in Manhattan will be closed on Sunday:
* 3rd Avenue between 86th Street and 66th Street will be closed from noon to 5 pm for the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce 3rd Avenue Community Benefit Festival.
* Little West Street between 1st Place and 2nd Place and the Hudson River bike route between Battery Park and the George Washington Bridge will be closed from 2 pm to 5 pm for Bike and Beats.
* Central Park West between 69th Street and 90th Street will be closed from 9 am to 11 pm for the Susan G. Komen Run Walk.

The times listed for closures for street fairs are for the actual times of the street fairs themselves. The streets may be closed longer to allow for set-up and breakdown. Street fair organizers are generally permitted to begin set-up at 8 am and breakdown must be completed by 7 pm.

Two Bensonhurst Cops Honored at Brooklyn Borough Hall


Today, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams paid tribute to Sergeant Michael Dario and Officer Elias Khan of the New York City Police Department’s 62nd Precinct at Brooklyn Borough Hall by proclaiming them September’s “Heroes of the Month” for saving the life of a choking infant in Bensonhurst on Sunday, August 24th. Borough President Adams, joined by Captain William Taylor, commanding officer of the 62nd Precinct, as well as the mother of the choking infant, Christine Maresca, praised the officers for quickly responding to the emergency and for performing CPR to revive the infant until EMS responders arrived to the scene.

“This event is a way to acknowledge Brooklyn heroes and everyday Brooklynites who do something special that usually goes under the radar of the daily news cycle,” said Borough President Adams, describing the significance of the “Heroes of the Month” ceremony and the valiant acts of the officers receiving the award. “As a former police officer, I can’t tell you how many times that calls of this magnitude do not result in such a fortunate outcome as the call answered by Sergeant Dario and Officer Khan, so we cannot thank them enough for saving the life of a choking infant.”

Borough President Adams also used the event to highlight the importance of CPR certification and training by the City’s public safety officers.

“CPR is more than ‘courtesy, professionalism, and respect,’” said Borough President Adams. “It is a way to ensure that officers can save the lives of individuals, and it is also important that we push for all City employees to be CPR certified.”

“The officers’ daily handling of their jobs, the way they’ve interacted with the community, and ways that they’ve carried themselves in the time that they’ve been (in the 62nd precinct) is just fantastic and they both have great careers ahead of them,” said Captain Taylor.

The “Heroes of the Month” designees received honorary citations from Borough President Adams’ office for their actions; additionally, plans are in place to commemorate their honor in the rotunda of Brooklyn Borough Hall.

The event was the second “Heroes of the Month” ceremony, where Borough President Adams and his staff acknowledge and commend the achievements of Brooklynites from a variety of backgrounds throughout the year.

Man Found With Shot in the Head in Coney Island Building

A man was fatally shot in the head in a Coney Island apartment building, cops said.

Authorities discovered the 23-year-old man in the hallway of the 17th floor of a high-rise building on West 28th Street Wednesday at 8:15 p.m.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

No arrests have been made in connection with the fatal shooting, and the victim’s name has not been released because his family has not been notified.

NYPD to Equip Officers with Body Cameras


Police Commissioner William J. Bratton today announced the New York City Police Department will begin testing two types of body cameras that will allow police officers to record audio and video during their interactions with the public.

“The NYPD is committed to embracing new and emerging technology in order to continue to keep New York City safe,” Commissioner Bratton said. “Having patrol officers wear body cameras during this pilot demonstrates our commitment to transparency while it will also allow us to review its effectiveness with the intention of expanding the program.”

The NYPD has been utilizing technology, including the use of cameras, in various crime fighting and counterterrorism capacities. This includes the Domain Awareness System that has more than 6,400 cameras providing real-time video feeds; Highway Unit vehicles being equipped with dashboard cameras, and wireless cameras situated near selected New York City Housing developments.

Exploration on the use of body cameras began earlier this year through internal and external
collaborations. Part of the research process involved members of the Department visiting the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) while also researching a variety of devices.
The two devices that will be used during the pilot program are the Axon Flex, made by TASER and the LE3 made by Vievu. The selection of the two devices was based on the NYPD’s research and feedback from departments in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Oakland, and others agencies.

The pilot program will be citywide consisting of five precincts and one police service area. Each were purposefully selected in response to the Judge’s ruling in Floyd vs the City of New York in which it specified that a program be implemented in the precincts with the highest number of Stop, Question and Frisk encounters in 2012.

The selected commands are the 23 Precinct (Manhattan), 40 Precinct
(Bronx), 75 Precinct (Brooklyn), 103 Precinct (Queens), 120 Precinct, and Police Service Area 2 (Brooklyn). Six body cameras will be distributed to each command and participation by each officer to wear the device is voluntary.

Guidelines and procedures for the program are still being finalized. Funding for the pilot program was provided by the New York City Police Foundation. The program is anticipated to begin this fall.

Fare Beater Who Shot Police Officer Sentenced To 25 Years in Prison

leeuticaKings County District Attorney Kenneth P. Thompson today announced that a 29-year-old Brooklyn man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for shooting a New York City Police Department officer in the leg after the cop and his partner, who were both in uniform, stopped the man for boarding a bus without paying his fare.

District Attorney Thompson said, “This defendant opened fire on and permanently injured a young, heroic cop who was just beginning his career, all because he didn’t want to pay his bus fare. Such wanton disregard for and violence towards our police deserves a 25-year prison sentence.”

The District Attorney said that the defendant, Rashun Robinson, 29, of 692 East 48th Street, in East Flatbush, was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Alan Marrus. Robinson pleaded guilty on July 25, 2014 to one count of aggravated assault on a police officer.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, the shooting stemmed from an incident that occurred on February 26, 2014, at approximately 5 p.m., in the vicinity of Empire Boulevard and Utica Avenue, when Police Officer James Li and Police Officer Randy Chow observed the defendant entering the rear of a New York City Transit Authority B46 bus.

The officers ordered the defendant to get off of the bus and he ran across Empire Boulevard, turned and fired multiple shots at both officers, striking Officer Li in the leg and groin, according to the investigation.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, both officers returned fire. The defendant was not hit. He was apprehended in a stairwell on Schenectady Avenue shortly after the shooting by officers assigned to the 71st precinct. The defendant had a .45 caliber pistol in his hand when he was caught. Three .45 caliber shell casings were recovered.

Officer Li, who graduated from the Police Academy two months prior to the shooting and was assigned to the 71st precinct, suffered significant, permanent nerve damage to his leg and walks with a cane.

In Big Blow to Ortiz, Menchaca Endorses Democratic Challenger


This morning, NYC Council Member Carlos Menchaca announced that he would be endorsing Ceasar Zuniga, the Democratic challenger for the 51st Assembly District. This major endorsement is a huge blow to the 20-year incumbent, Felix Ortiz, who has been counting on establishment support in order to win reelection. Menchaca’s City Council District, which he won last year, shares a lot of the same territory as the Assembly District for which Ceasar is running.

At the press event to announce the endorsement, Menchaca said, “In the City Council I have been working to usher in a new age of progressive politics, and we need to bring that commitment into the Assembly. Ceasar is a proven progressive reformer with the experience in the non-profit sector and an effective community leader that we need in Albany. We need a strong legislator to fight for the issues that matter—from the DREAM Act to GENDA—and it’s time to send Ceasar to the Assembly to fight for all of us.”

With a hug, Menchaca turned the floor over to Ceasar, who thanked him for his support. He also thanked his volunteers as well as the United Federation of Teachers and the Professional Staff Congress representatives who were also in attendance.

Ceasar said, “I decided to run because I looked to the North and I looked to the South, and I started to wonder why my district wasn’t getting the same amenities. We are not getting the representation or leadership that we deserve, and I want to change that.”

Ceasar currently serves as the Director of Research and Evaluation for the Parent-Child Home Program, a national early childhood education program. In this capacity, he has helped bring early